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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 222 The Contingency Club

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London, 1864 - where any gentleman befitting the title ‘gentleman’ belongs to a gentlemen’s club: The Reform, The Athenaeum, The Carlton, The Garrick… and, of course, The Contingency. Newly established in St James’, The Contingency has quickly become the most exclusive enclave in town. A refuge for men of politics, men of science, men of letters. A place to escape. A place to think. A place to be free.


The first rule of the Contingency is to behave like a gentleman. The second is to pay no heed to its oddly identical servants. Or to the horror in its cellars. Or to the existence of the secret gallery on its upper floor… Rules that the Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan are all about to break.

The Contingency Club contains examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: She isn't called The Red Queen for nothing.
  • Bad Boss: The Queen, who kills Peabody so he can't be used as a bargaining chip against her, and couldn't care less about the dozens of Edwards who die as a result.
  • The Bet: The entire reason the Red Queen is attempting to take over London; her brother wagered that she couldn't.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: Victorian England was absolutely rife with these, and The Contingency Club simply jumps on the bandwagon.
  • Call-Back:
  • Captain Obvious:
    Nyssa: They're clones.
    Adric: You needed a tissue sample to confirm that? Fifty men all looking exactly the same wasn't enough?
  • Chekhov's Gun: Tegan's walkman.
  • Clone Army: The Edwards.
  • Clone Degeneration: The poor Edwards dissolve into goo once their master, to whom they were connected, is killed.
  • Complete Monster: The Red Queen is trying to take over England and, failing that, blow it up, merely to win a bet.
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    Nyssa: But Doctor, if something made the TARDIS shut down, there might be danger out there! Tegan might have a point, this time.
    Tegan: This time?
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The Red Queen. Already a tyrannical Bad Boss, she plans to use mass amounts of explosives to hold England hostage and wrest control from Queen Victoria herself.
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  • Innocently Insensitive: Adric just doesn't understand why Tegan is offended by his criticisms of her Walkman.
    Nyssa: What's Adric done now?
  • Insistent Terminology: Mr Peabody isn't a hypnotist, he's a mesmerist.
  • Irony: Tegan points out that The Contingency Club, an all-male establishment that is horrified at the idea of even letting women through the door, is controlled by a woman.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Due to the Perception Filter inside the club, all its members see Tegan and Nyssa as men, since women aren't allowed inside.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The Red Queen's ship gets transported into hyperspace with her inside it against her will. Since the ship was at the center of The Contingency Club, it all comes crashing down.
  • Loophole Abuse: While the conditions of the Red Queen's bet prohibit her from using any obviously advanced technology in her coup, she has found a loophole by using her advanced knowledge to create the equivalent using resources available on Earth at this time.
  • The Mole: George Augustus.
  • The Nicknamer: Tegan refers to Adric as "Pyjama Boy".
  • Occam's Razor:
    Adric: So you've made getting to Heathrow a personal challenge?
    The Doctor: I've been wondering. What if some kind of influence was deliberately keeping us away?
    Tegan: Or perhaps you just can't fly this bucket of bolts?
    Tegan: See?!
  • Perception Filter: Throughout the club, keeping the members docile and locked up.
  • Professional Gambler: The Red Queen and her brother, who apparently spend their entire lives taking over planets to win bets against each other.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Adric's genius with mathematics also extends to being able to memorize the complex layout of the catacombs beneath The Contingency Club.
  • Running Gag: The Doctor is still trying to get Tegan to Heathrow, and has tried and failed at it so many times that he's starting to wonder if there isn't some sinister force keeping them away.
  • Smug Snake: The Red Queen wears a permanent smirk that is actually audible.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Tegan reveals that her cousins worked in blast mining, and she apparently learned enough from them to defuse the bombs in the basement.
  • Walk-In Chime-In:
    Nyssa: Where are we going, Doctor?
    The Doctor: Heathrow, England.
    Nyssa: Doctor, I'm not so sure Tegan still wants to go back there.
    The Doctor: Really?
    Tegan, storming in: Someone get me out of this place!
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The Doctor dismisses the Red Queen as just another power-crazed despot who wants to rule the world to satisfy her own ego. She informs him that ruling is the last thing she cares about; she's taking over England as a bet with her brother.

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